equinox at the beach

It is immense, this quiet. Each leaf slides
through the blue

unuttered, on a breath of air, the world

barely disturbed; but the whisper

of their fall unsettles.

The ground—


receives what has all this year

been held

away, up in the sky. It's all suyapi,

and immoderately beautiful. But

it can't last, now that the light

has broken. Now it rains

through incandescent blue, and the sun

lies across the sands in bright black
lines; the trees cast

shadows upward and the water, so long
held in the sea, has risen,

airy, free from its bowl, breaking,
with only a pale hiss, the horizon.

The sky is full now of the depths'
lustre. The birds: grounded.

The heron walks on water; the crow
pushes into the sand.

This is the moment when the year turns.
The sailboat remains soundless, but the white


sail surfaces, pierces the meniscus of the grey

sky. No horizon now: the bumpy ridge of trees,


the mountains hidden under the water-filled

welkin walk as the silk sky begins to sag.


the empyrean deep deflates.

On my face, a caul—what was


once high, air's skin, come to rest,

cheek bones and lips.


It's not that the year will suddenly
switch back to how it was,

that things will snap to, go forward
again, face front into time,

become not-suyapi, but that

we will. Our perception will snap

to the world's frame and it will be

as if that is how it always was.

When a cherry leaf yellowed lets go

it will drift on the eddying air.

We will see it that way. And it will
seem that always the birds

walked on water and the rain

from the sky came down to earth.

It is only here in the changing moment,
when the sky and sea shudder,

then shatter: recompose the image

of the world. Here, only here,

we are free to see both backward and
forward at once.

Originally published by Written River, V.3, Issue 1

Published under the name Carol Shillibeer